Reports & Papers

36 Items

A satellite view of Djibouti, showing the U.S. Navy’s Camp Lemonnier (bottom) and the People’s Liberation Army Support Base (top).

2020 Google Earth / Maxar Technologies, used with permission.

Paper

Cooperation, Competition, or Both? Options for U.S. Land Forces vis-à-vis Chinese Interests in Africa

| June 2020

This paper responds to a topic from the Army War College’s Key Strategic Issues List, 2018-2020: Evaluate the ramifications of China’s and/or Russia’s interests in Africa for U.S. land forces and suggest options, both to compete and to cooperate, to further U.S. interests.

While U.S. land forces may benefit from competition or cooperation with Chinese elements in Africa, I judge that they possess limited agency to compete or cooperate in the context of these definitions. Therefore, I will take a whole-of-government approach to furthering U.S. interests in Africa vis-à-vis China.

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), left, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181), right, sail in formation with 16 other ships from the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force as aircraft from the U.S. Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force fly overhead in formation during Keen Sword 2019.

U.S. Navy photo / SPC Kaila V. Peters

Paper

Asia Whole and Free? Assessing the Viability and Practicality of a Pacific NATO

    Author:
  • Aaron Bartnick
| March 2020

This report will address four questions in the Pacific NATO debate. First, is there a historical precedent for a Pacific NATO? This report does find a precedent in the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), though it was largely unsuccessful due to its lack of regional adoption, weak mutual defense provisions, and ultimately became tainted by the Vietnam War.

Second, would such an alliance be necessary given the plethora of existing multilateral partnerships in the region? While there is a broad multilateral landscape in the Indo-Pacific, there is currently no agreement that combines both the wide reach and deep obligations of a hypothetical Pacific NATO. However, the Quad and RIMPAC do bring together many of the key Indo-Pacific powers and serve as an important foundation for U.S.-oriented multilateral regional security.

Third, how could such an alliance be structured? This report examines three options: expanding NATO’s mandate beyond Europe, building on its Enhanced Opportunity Partner (EOP) program, and creating a new alliance system. It also uses the case of Montenegro’s NATO accession to generate a broad set of criteria for future membership.

And fourth, how would Indo-Pacific nations, including China, respond to such an alliance? This would be exceedingly difficult. China has significant economic leverage over even our closest allies, like Australia and Japan.

Intractable internal disputes abound, particularly between South Korea and Japan and four nations—Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam—with competing claims in the South China Sea. Two of the United States’ most important partners in the region, India and Singapore, have a longstanding aversion to exactly this type of alliance system. And for newer partners, like Malaysia and Indonesia, the value proposition is even less clear. The Chinese are likely to respond to any attempts at a multilateral military alliance in its backyard with a whole-of-government effort to stop it. If that alliance includes Taiwan, it could result in even more aggressive action.

Report

Digital Currency Wars: A National Security Crisis Simulation

On November 19, 2019, the Belfer Center’s Economic Diplomacy Initiative hosted a national security crisis simulation in the JFK Jr. Forum to a packed audience from the Harvard and MIT communities. 

Drawing on the experience of Belfer Center members who have served in the highest levels of the U.S. government, the event explored the nexus of U.S. economic power and its national security interests.

Workers dismantle the Belt and Road Forum logo next to the “Golden Bridge of Silk Road” structure outside the media center as leaders are attending the round table summit of the Belt and Road Forum chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, Saturday, April 27, 2019

AP Photo/Andy Wong

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Triangle in the Long Game

| June 19, 2019

The purpose of this paper is to analyze how China’s new power is reaching Europe, the challenges that it poses, and the European responses to this new reality. This process has to be examined in the context of the current strategic competition between China and the U.S. and its reflection on the transatlantic relationship.

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

kees torn/Flickr

Paper - National Bureau of Asian Research

Russia's Energy Foray into Asia: Implications for U.S. Interests

This essay examines Russia’s growing role in Asia’s energy markets, assesses the implications for the U.S., and examines the claim that closer Sino-Russian energy ties are adding new incentives for a broader strategic alignment.

ONGC Oil and Gas Processing Platform. Bombay High, South Field. Undersea pipelines carry oil and gas to Uran, near Mumbai, some 120 NM away.

Creative Commons

Discussion Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Oil & State Capitalism: Government-Firm Coopetition in China and India

| October 2015

This paper examines the domestic sources of the internationalization of national oil companies (NOCs) in China and India. It argues that—counter to notions of state-led internationalization—the going abroad of NOCs reflects a pattern of “coopetition,” i.e., the co-existence of cooperation and conflict between increasingly entrepreneurial NOCs and partially supportive and interventionist home governments.

teaser image

Report - AEI Press

The Russian Energy Outlook

| February 2015

This AEI report strives to shed light on these uncertainties with the aim of providing realistic scenarios for the global energy outlook to 2030. Goldthau's chapter finds that Russia will remain one of the world’s top energy producers and exporters, but its energy future will hinge on several factors outside of Moscow’s control, including Western energy sanctions and European regulations. Should Europe shift away from dependence on Russian energy, the Kremlin will feel more pressure to court China.

Discussion Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Falling Short: A Reality Check for Global LNG Exports

| December 19, 2014

In 2012, when many energy experts argued that oil production had peaked, Leonardo Maugeri published “Oil: The Next Revolution,” which forecast a glut of oil and collapsing prices in the next several years. His prediction proved prescient. Now, as analysts look past today’s oil-market drama to a near future of robust liquefied natural gas exports, Maugeri is again challenging conventional wisdom. The long-hoped-for and hyped-up gas market, he concludes, will disappoint.

“Falling Short: A Reality Check for Global LNG Exports” details the new findings by Maugeri, a former oil industry executive who is now an associate with the Geopolitics of Energy project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Russian and Chinese state representatives stand before the ceremonial ground-breaking of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline in Yakutsk, Russia, September 1, 2014.

Gazprom

Paper

The Sino-Russian Gas Partnership: Explaining the 2014 Breakthrough

| November, 2014

As Moscow’s relations with the West deteriorate, Putin seeks to show the world and the Russian people that he has alternative friends to the East. Be that as it may, the incentives leading to the mega deal were in place much earlier. This paper proposes a framework for assessing the deal along three dimensions: 1) gas trade and energy security implications; 2) regional- and global policy-related implications; and 3) prospects for the future.

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Booming Synergies in Sino-Russian Natural Gas Partnership

| May 2014

A central debate in the study of energy geopolitics concerns the relative importance of the Sino-Russian energy alliance and the lack of the long awaited deal in natural gas. The deadlock in natural gas is all the more puzzling when contrasted to the two countries’ flourishing ties in oil. In this paper, Morena Skalamera explores these developments by comparing the outcomes of the two deals and highlighting the distinctiveness of oil trade vis-à-vis gas trade.